12 Tips For Preparing For Your CPA Exam


Several students attempt to become CPAs or chartered public accountants annually, and merely 50% of them clear the examination. Why should you consider becoming a CPA today?

This certification can help you stable jobs with higher salaries and other benefits. However, students often get confused and don’t realize how to prepare for their CPA exam properly. Only some hardworking students can succeed in this detailed examination by sticking to a complex study schedule. But there are some academic suggestions to help you out with your educational adventure. We’ve gathered some tips here so you may prepare for the exam effectively and get some genuinely positive outcomes.

  1. Plan your strategy

Studying with planning isn’t going to help you pass the CPA exam. Create a strategy that covers your lessons and allocates certain hours to specific subjects. Establish a schedule to give yourself enough time to study the entire course and review it properly a week before the exam. Then you may try to examine yourself by answering mock papers and checking your progress. Become flexible with your study schedule and plan your lessons, not day-by-day but week-by-week, to relax a little.

  1. Understand to memorize

Students shouldn’t just focus on memorizing the stuff without understanding what it means. Try to understand the concepts before memorizing the definitions. Otherwise, you’ll simply keep forgetting your lessons. Candidates often fail because they attend to commit CPA lessons to memory and then can’t seem to recall these lessons in the exam hall. Always understand difficult concepts by breaking them down into simpler ideas. That’s how you can learn complex definitions by heart.

  1. Get review courses

Don’t make the mistake of going in alone; invest in some reliable CPA review courses to prepare for the examination. These courses are created on adaptive learning platforms and offer expertly-made practice questions. Whether a brand-new candidate or a self-studying student, a CPA review course can help you pass the exam with discerning numbers. Just ascertain that you have done your research and only choose the perfect review course that aligns with your CPA ambitions.

  1. Find your mentor

Don’t study on your own and get advice from a mentor. We also suggest students get a study partner to make their lessons more interactive. Don’t assume that mere dedication and hard work can help you pass this exam. Seek help when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the syllabus and ask someone to help you out with the questions that seem unanswerable.

  1. Download audio courses

These audio courses can help part-time/full-time employees study properly while driving to or from work. You can easily turn your commute into a productive study session by downloading some audio courses. Whether doing chores or working out, listening to these audio courses will help you focus on the upcoming CPA exam without feeling like you’re not being productive enough. Just plug your headphones in and focus on your studies without risking your chances of passing the exam.

  1. Avoid exam depression

Are you getting exam depression while studying? Know the signs of this problem before depression starts to interfere with your productivity. Mood swings, attention problems, and trouble sleeping or eating are symptoms of exam-related depression. When these signs appear, it’s probably the right choice to take a break.

  1. Dedicate 300-400 hours

How many hours will you spend studying for the CPA exam? Interestingly, AICPA suggests candidates spend about 300-400 hours in total to prepare for the examination. However, you can always choose to ignore this instruction and study at your own pace. Avoid burnout while studying and focus on honing your short-term memory. Slow-learning students must dedicate more than four months to studying for the exam. Don’t let your passion harm your mental health or physical well-being.

  1. Find a balance

Candidates shouldn’t overburden themselves and find some balance to prevent exhaustion. It’s not healthy to dedicate yourself completely to your studies and give up other pleasures of life. You can’t pass the exam by abandoning the much-needed me-time. After several hours of intense studying, refresh yourself by hanging out with friends, taking a nice bubble bath, or exercising. Focus on your duties towards family and friends while studying and keep your mental health in check.

  1. Get a calculator

Do you have a reliable calculator for the CPA exam? This suggestion may seem awkward, but several students have performed miserably in this exam because they used an unreliable calculator to solve the questions. Get a programmable calculator to program certain calculations in them. That’s how you can save your time. Check out AICPA’s approved list of calculators students can bring to the exam hall. So, make sure that you’ve purchased an AICPA-approved calculator.

  1. Use exam flashcards:

Many students use flashcards to memorize difficult definitions. Some candidates attempt to create some flashcards of their own however we suggest they utilize the flashcards made by professionals. Using pre-made flashcards can help you easily commit complex definitions to memory. That’s how you can easily remember some of the most important definitions.

  1. Take more breaks

We strongly suggest students take as many study breaks as they need. Don’t disregard your mental health or physical well-being because sometimes taking a break becomes necessary for studying. So, hitting the restart button by taking a break will help you relax properly. You should sleep properly and stay hydrated so you can focus on your studies effectively. Study in short sessions so you can easily remember your lessons. Don’t overexert yourself and hone your body-mind connection.

  1. Revisit your material:-

Experts suggest that students revisit their lessons a month before the exam begins. Revisiting study materials will allow you to strengthen weaker concepts and effectively improve your command of these lessons. Try to study in quiet places where you can focus solely on the subject. A 30-day-long period for revisiting the CPA course can make you more prepared and confident about your lessons. After all, it’s never wrong to be over-prepared when you’re studying for the CPA exam!


Why do some candidates fail to pass the CPA exam? Experts have proposed some reasons for this failure, involving students not preparing for the examination properly. That’s why every candidate must prepare for the CPA exam correctly. First, obtain a CPA review course to make your study sessions much easier. Spend 300-400 hours studying for the exam and always study in short sessions. Take breaks to avoid exhaustion, use flashcards to memorize definitions, and understand the concepts to become more familiar with your lessons. Don’t forget to find a mentor or a study partner for yourself. Also, revisit your study material 30 days before the exam and invest in a reliable calculator to pass the exam properly.


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